The Best Creamy Pasta Salad Recipe

The absolute BEST Creamy Pasta Salad loaded with veggies and tossed in a sweet and tangy dressing. This is the perfect pasta salad for parties and potlucks! It feeds a crowd!

There are some recipes that have been in our family for years. They show up to family parties and BBQ’s. This Creamy Pasta Salad is one of those recipes.

It’s the perfect salad when you are asked to bring a side dish to a party. It’s a great way to sneak in veggies with the pasta.

We love the sweet and tangy dressing. It’s so easy to make. We know you’ll really enjoy this salad. And it’s the perfect salad to add your own spin to it.

Related recipe: Spaghetti Salad (it’s SO good!)


Do you rinse pasta for pasta salad?

Yes.  Rinse your salad in a colander with cold water until pasta is completely cold.  This helps your pasta to not stick together because of the extra starches you are washing away.

How long will Pasta salad last in the Fridge?

If you store your leftover Creamy Pasta Salad in an airtight container, it will last in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.  We have honestly always finished it off by then so we usually don’t get to that point!

make sure you have these ingredients to make this creamy pasta salad recipe:

Easy Creamy Pasta Salad Recipe Ingredients:

  1. Ditalini Pasta (or whatever pasta you have on hand)
  2. Broccoli
  3. Red Onion
  4. Red Bell Pepper
  5. Cucumber
  6. Olives
  7. Block Colby Jack Cheese
  8. Mayonnaise
  9. White Wine Vinegar
  10. Sugar
  11. Salt
  12. Pepper

Don’t forget these items too:

  • Big Saucepan (THIS one is great)
  • Serving bowl
  • Sharp Knife for chopping veggies (THIS one is our favorite)

how to make the Best creamy pasta salad

This is the best creamy pasta salad I’ve ever tasted and it has become a staple in our household.  I love the sweet and tangy flavor of the dressing that pairs perfectly with a variety of vegetables.


I started by cutting up all of my pasta salad ingredients, including broccoli, red onion, red bell pepper, cucumber and Colby Jack cheese.

Be sure to cut your vegetables, especially red onion, very small (more of a mince than a dice) so they aren’t too overpowering in this Creamy Pasta Salad.

I love using simple shortcuts when cooking.  I used pre-sliced olives and Colby Jack cheese sticks that I then cut into cubes rather than buying an entire block of cheese.

While I was cutting up my other ingredients, I had my pasta boiling on the stove top.  You could use any type of pasta your family prefers (Penne, elbow macaroni, Rotini, etc.), but I used Ditalini pasta.

When your pasta is done cooking, rinse in cold water and place in a large serving bowl.  Mix in all of your vegetables and cheese.

In my opinion, the best part about this Creamy Pasta Salad is the tangy dressing you toss everything in.  My secret to the perfect pasta salad dressing is using Best Foods MayonnaiseBut any dressing will work fine.

Best Foods Real Mayonnaise is also rich in Omega 3-ALA and only 1.5 grams of saturated fat per serving.

To make the dressing, I whisked together one cup of mayonnaise and added a little sugar, salt, pepper and white wine vinegar to give it that tangy flavor.  If you wanted to cut down on calories, you could easily substitute with a light mayo.

After you have prepared your dressing, pour it over your pasta and vegetables and gently fold in until well combined and everything is evenly coated.

Cover your Creamy Pasta Salad with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.

Serve cold and enjoy!


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Other delicious pasta salad recipes

Serves: 10

The Best Creamy Pasta Salad Recipe

The absolute BEST Creamy Pasta Salad made with broccoli, cucumbers, olives, cheese, red onion, red pepper, and broccoli then tossed in a sweet and tangy dressing. This is the perfect pasta salad for parties and potlucks!

1 hr, 15 Prep Time

10 minCook Time

1 hr, 25 Total Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 1 (16 ounce) package Ditalini pasta (or whatever pasta you have on hand)
  • 1 cup broccoli florets (chopped)
  • 1/2 red onion (minced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (minced)
  • 1 cucumber (diced)
  • 1 (3.8 ounce) can sliced olives (drained)
  • 1 cup block Colby Jack cheese (cubed)
  • Dressing:
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Rinse well with cold water until pasta is cold.
  2. Place cooked and cooled pasta in a large mixing or serving bowl.
  3. Mix in broccoli florets, red onion, red bell pepper, cucumber, sliced olives and cheese.
  4. Whisk together all dressing ingredients and pour over pasta and other ingredients.
  5. Gently fold in dressing until all ingredients are evenly coated.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.



2236 cal


211 g


45 g


33 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

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Comment on this Recipe

20 Responses to “The Best Creamy Pasta Salad Recipe”

    • Mary Jane Hall
      I've always wondered why the red onion restaurants have on their salad bar doesn't have that hot onion taste. The red onion I'd buy wasn't nearly as good. I'm happy to share a tip I learned from someone on the Food Network. To take away that hot onion taste, all you have to do is soak the sliced red onion in cold water at least 30 minutes before serving or adding to your fresh salad. I normally let it soak a littler longer, up to an hour. Even though a red onion is called a sweet onion, it's never been sweet to me, probably because I use the delicious sweet Vidalia onion. A tip I learned from my sister who lived in Georgia is, the flatter the onion, the sweeter it is. But a red onion does have that distinctive taste needed for many dishes. I keep both onions on hand.
  1. Janelle
    You have to eat it that day. I made this for an open house the evening prior. I served it less then 12 hours the following day and it was super dry. I whipped up another batch of the dressing and mixed it in. Still overwhelmingly dry. I think it’s one of those that has to be served after making it. It does say in the pin that she usually doesn’t save it, that it’s all gone. I should have picked a recipe that said it stored well for a make ahead event.
  2. Very similar to a salad I concocted several years ago, but I include chopped celery and cooked chicken, using a 1 to 1 ratio of mayo and ranch dressing to finish it off. Easy-peasy, and everyone always wants the recipe.

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